Lake Oconee Fishing Report – November 2022
Oconee: Level: 0.5 below 435. Temp: 65 degrees. Clarity: Clear.
Linesides: Capt. Doug Nelms with BigFishHeads Guide Service reports, “November is when the seagulls from the Atlantic will return to Lake Oconee, and we have a big time chasing them all over the lake. They are truly a welcome sight in the month of November. If the electronics companies could figure out how a seagull spots stripers 20 feet down in muddy, choppy water, they would corner the market overnight. It is amazing. When you see them sitting on the water, they are on top of huge schools of bait and the stripers are never far away from that. When you see them in the air focused on a particular area, they’re watching fish and preparing to feed. When they’re squawking, diving and forming those little small white tornadoes, dipping down in the water, you need to have a rod in your hand. That is a 100% indicator that the stripers have pushed bait to the top, and it’s gonna be a good day. There are many things that I throw at them during this time of year and the list can be pretty long, but the main two things would be a jigging spoon and some type of topwater bait. Most of the bigger fish are going to be deeper. I kind of feel like they’re fat and lazy and they’re just waiting to pick off the stunned shad as they fall to the bottom, while the smaller ones work on the top layer of bait. A jigging spoon seems to be the very best choice for catching bigger fish. I like the Hopkins Shorty in either silver or gold, depending on if it’s sunny or cloudy, and also the War Eagle Spoon with the many different colors that they have. If the fish are in the water column, you just throw it past them and jig the spoon in a yo-yo fashion right through there, and on most days you will not be disappointed. Be sure when you see these fish blowing up, that you don’t run your big motor right into the middle of them because it will stop them from feeding. When I see them, I’ll drop my trolling motor and get up there as fast as I can but not too fast to scare them off. Spinning rods with the braided line is always my go-to because I feel like you can throw them so far without worry of backlash and you can feel the bite really good on the fall with the braid. This time of year, you can also use live bait, but it has been my experience that you can catch them a lot faster with artificials than you can with live bait. Fishing with live bait can be a time-consuming process. Getting into your bait well, hooking it up properly, trying not to sling it off on the cast, meanwhile the guy on the front of the boat throwing a spoon could’ve already caught two or three fish. I use 20-lb. braided line and a 12-lb. fluorocarbon leader. Oddly enough one of the largest stripers I’ve ever seen caught out of my boat was caught on a spoon, so I really have a lot of confidence in them. You can get all this tackle at Sugar Creek Marina, and they will have a big amount of War Eagle and Hopkins spoons, along with the Sassy Shads, popping corks and the striper flies. November might be cold, but it’s a great time when the stripers come alive on Lake Oconee.”
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